Written by me: ten of the articles I wrote in 2017



It is great to end this year with a contract to write a book for HarperCollins (USA) – and thank you to my brilliant agent for making this possible.

However, my book was only made possible by the articles that I have written this year.

This is an attempt to narrow them down to just ten.


I really enjoyed writing this #longread for BBC Future and the amazing photography that went with it – sadly not by me.

The speed record that is surprisingly hard to break


While teams try to build a car that can go as fast as the speed of sound, other researchers are trying to break a more modest record – can a boat powered by human effort go faster than 20mph?


This #longread was a full double page colour spread and one of the i paper’s Weeks Best Reads.

The road to nowhere? Why electric cars may not be as ‘green’ as we think


Electric vehicles promised a future without road pollution. Now environmentalists say they may not be as ‘green’ as we think they are – and must get better.


It was great that my double page colour #longread made it on to the front page of the i paper and into their Essential Daily Briefing newsletter.

Tragically, the prediction by David Bowman, a professor of environmental change biology at the University of Tasmania in Australia, that wildfires will grow in size and destructive capability came true later in the year. 

Wildfires will soon be consuming more of our forests, say experts – how can we stop them?

Black Forest Fire Near Colorado Springs Continues To Burn

As global warming takes its toll on the environment, wildfires are likely to become more common and more widespread. Is there anything we can do to stop them?


It was great to have this exclusive story from Brazil in BBC Future – and the professional satisfaction of overcoming communication and cultural barriers to get it.

Can South America’s first ever airship help unlock the Amazon?

airship 2

The vast jungle interior of Brazil is a difficult place to reach – there are few roads, and travelling by river is very slow. Could airships be the key to supplying remote Amazonian outposts?


It was great to be asked to write this broadsheet piece for The Daily Telegraph

Will AI give engineering a creative boost?


Rather than take away engineering roles, artificial intelligence could be the springboard for a new generation of jobs.


It was great to have had this piece in The Economist after so much work had gone into it.

Space dust kills satellites like tiny atom bombs

Space dust

Electromagnetism, not force of impact, does the damage


It was great to have had this “astonishingly frank interview” with one of the leading figures in EdTech in Publishing Perspectives – and to have had the opportunity to take the pics for it.

Gojimo’s George Burgess: On Startups, Sales, and Scale


George Burgess appeared to have cracked the secret of a successful start-up. Then in a move that caught many observers off-guard, he sold his business to The Telegraph Media Group. We wanted to know what happened.


It was great to have had the chance to talk to Executive Director of Bloomsbury Richard Charkin just before he left for his summer holiday for Publishing Perspectives

Richard Charkin: ‘We’ve Allowed Our Industry To Become Over-Complicated’


‘We cling on to the idea that the UK is so different from all the other countries.’ And change, says Bloomsbury’s Richard Charkin, is a new constant.


On a beautiful summers day, it was great to do be able to travel up to Yorkshire to interview Prof Chris D Thomas on his farm for the i paper.

This double page colour #longread made it into the i paper’s Essential Daily Briefing newsletter and The Yorkshire Post.

Destiny of the Species: Are animals adapting better to climate change than we think?

Species 6

There is little doubt that our climate is changing, but what if the effects on the world’s plants and animals won’t be as bad as we think?


It was great to have written this #longread for BBC Future – and to be able to discover the history, present and future of mine detection technology.

The deadly danger that you can’t see

Deadly danger

Many countries have banned landmines, but millions continue to lie in wait for unsuspecting victims. The methods used to find and deal with them have had to keep pace with their increasing sophistication.

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